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Long Island

Suffolk police, other LI agencies receive grants for fingerprinting equipment

Suffolk County police led six Long Island police departments that were awarded more than $200,000 in state funding for new fingerprint scanners.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced $710,000 in state grants for 51 police and sheriff's departments for electronic fingerprinting equipment to update or replace obsolete or inoperable fingerprint scanners.

Police in Garden City, Long Beach, Nassau County, Southampton Village and Suffolk County, plus the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office, received grants.

The largest grant was $150,000 for Suffolk County police to replace 15 fingerprint devices at 12 separate locations.

Nassau County followed with $19,205 to replace two devices, while Southampton, Long Beach and the Suffolk sheriff were awarded $10,000 grants. Garden City police received $8,345.

The maximum grant for each device was $10,000 and each department must match 50 percent since the technology serves both local communities and state authorities, Cuomo's office said in a statement. Police departments were able to apply for more than one device if they host a regional server allowing other agencies to electronically submit fingerprints to the state and FBI.

All New York fingerprints following arrests must be sent electronically to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services and the FBI.

Digital fingerprints allow police and courts to instantly receive positive identification of arrestees and any criminal history and outstanding warrants. Officials said the information is used to help determine court proceedings and bail hearings.

"Fingerprinting is a proven and highly effective crime-fighting method -- which drives us to help law enforcement agencies record and share fingerprints as efficiently as possible," Cuomo said in a statement. "These grants will help departments across the state, regardless of size, maintain a vital form of equipment, and I am proud that the state is able to help our local partners in this way."

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